You have a claim in professional negligence, breach of contract and breach of the sale and supply of goods and services legislation against the builder. The Defendant was under a duty in contract law and statute to provide you with a product and service that was fit for purpose and of reasonably satisfactory quality.
If their actions or inaction have caused you financial loss, your damages will be recovery of your losses caused as a result of their conduct, plus interest on damages and legal costs. Damages will be the monies you have already paid them, the costs you have incurred of rectifying their work with other suppliers and the rental costs of alternative accommodation while your home is being repaired.
If the damages you are claiming are less than £10,000, the claim will be placed on the Small Claims Track. You are unlikely to be ordered to pay the other party’s legal advisers’ costs of the claim; only court fees for issuing the claim and for the hearing itself. A party cannot normally recover solicitors’ costs on the Small Claims Track. However, it is designed for non-lawyers (known as “Litigants In Person”). The trials are relatively informal, and the judges do not expect parties to have the same legal knowledge as experienced solicitors and barristers.
However, if the value of the claim is over £10,000, it will be placed on the Fast Track of the Civil County Courts and if it is over £25,000, it will be placed on the Multi Track of the County Courts. The normal rule is the winning party may recover its legal costs from the losing party, either at a final hearing or a favourable settlement. Therefore, you are at a significant risk of this action costing you more than just your own legal costs if you are unsuccessful.
I suggest you instruct specialist Construction Litigation Solicitors. They will take your instructions and review all existing documentation and correspondence and advise you on your prospects of success.
If you have a Home and Contents Insurance Policy with Legal Expenses Cover, it may be worth notifying your insurers and requesting that your legal fees in this claim be paid and/or that they appoint a law firm on their panel of insurers to conduct your claim.